Celebrate 20th anniversary of Forest Preserve's Woods Walk hiking challenge


Last updated 9/4/2022 at 1pm

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Woods Walk by trekking on trails throughout Will County.

The popular, self-paced Forest Preserve District of Will County hiking program kicks off Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 30. Hike seven of 10 designated trails to earn a commemorative medallion.

"It has been a beloved program since its inception," said Jen Guest, the Forest Preserve's recreation coordinator. "In those 20 years, the Forest Preserve has grown both in acres of land and miles of trails so there are more paths to choose from."

To mark the anniversary of Woods Walk, an 11th bonus trail at Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve has been added to this year's list because it was in the very first Woods Walk program.

This year's Woods Walk trails are in McKinley Woods, Hammel Woods, Hickory Creek Preserve, Kankakee Sands Preserve, Messenger Woods Nature Preserve, Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, Prairie Bluff Preserve, Theodore Marsh, Hadley Valley and Sugar Creek Preserve. Lengths range from 1.5 miles to 3.47 miles.

To begin the challenge, pick up your Woods Walk hiking guide on or after Sept. 1 at a Forest Preserve visitor center or download an online version at ReconnectWithNature.org.

Also available this year will be a map app you can use to navigate the hikes. The QR map code will be on the back page of the Woods Walk hiking guide.

The deadline to turn in a completed hiking guide submission form is Saturday, Dec. 31. Submission forms can be found in the back of the guide or online. Medallions will be available beginning Sept. 30.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.


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